IES Gold Sponsor Sales Performance International makes their annual sales professional predictions.

Written and compiled by SPI Chief Marketing Officer Dario Priolo, the must read report states, “The sales profession is always changing, because sellers must constantly adapt to changes in economic, political, cultural, and market forces. As the world changes, so too must salespeople respond. And, those sellers who can align and adapt first are those who can achieve a competitive advantage. What kind of changes can we expect to see for the sales profession in the coming New Year? Here is a compilation of perspectives and opinions from Sales Performance International executives and consultants. We’ll revisit these at the end of 2017 and see how many of our prognostications turned out to be accurate.

Some of the highlights from SPI’s strong bench of sales experts include:

  • Companies will continue to struggle with selecting, developing, and enabling sales managers.
  • Demand creation was a top challenge for organization in 2016, and will continue to be a significant challenge in 2017.
  • In 2017, the roadmap for implementing and sustaining account-based marketing (ABM) will be written, tested, and possibly perfected.

Past IES Speaker Tim Sullivan wrote:

Last year, I predicted that a differentiated customer experience will be paramount for sales success, and I think it will be even more important in 2017.

We saw the importance of optimizing the customer experience rise among our clients throughout 2016. An increasing number of both B2B and B2C organizations realized that their biggest differentiator is their ability to deliver a quality customer experience. The biggest part of that experience is provided in the initial and most critical interactions with the sales team. Today, more than half of buyers’ perception of a company’s brand is based on their interactions with sales professionals. As a result, many of our largest clients cited the importance of improving their customers’ experience as a principal driver for sales performance improvement initiatives.

With increased global competition and ever-shorter product life cycles, it is increasingly difficult to sustain any competitive advantage through product leadership alone. Organizations that fail to equip their sales professionals with the processes, methods, tools, and content to deliver a consistently excellent customer experience, will soon find themselves at a severe competitive disadvantage. How organizations sell to customers is becoming even more important than what they are selling. If there’s one thing to do different in 2017, it’s measuring the quality of customer experience and taking steps to ensure that you are delivering one that is of consistent high-quality.

Download the report here!